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https://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/energy/activities/32718.html

Marie Johnson, SERC - On the Cutting Edge Collection

In this classroom activity, students analyze regional energy usage data and their own energy bills to gain an understanding of individual consumption, regional uses, costs, and sources of energy.

Activity takes one class period.

Learn more about Teaching Climate Literacy and Energy Awareness»


Grade Level

Activity is appropriate for middle and high school students and introductory or non-science majors lower level college

Climate Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Climate Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Energy Literacy

This Activity builds on the following concepts of Energy Literacy.

Click a topic below for supporting information, teaching ideas, and sample activities.

Excellence in Environmental Education Guidelines

1. Questioning, Analysis and Interpretation Skills:C) Collecting information
Other materials addressing:
C) Collecting information.
4. Personal and Civic Responsibility:D) Accepting personal responsibility
Other materials addressing:
D) Accepting personal responsibility.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:D) Technology
Other materials addressing:
D) Technology.
2. Knowledge of Environmental Processes and Systems:2.4 Environment and Society:E) Environmental Issues
Other materials addressing:
E) Environmental Issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:B) Sorting out the consequences of issues
Other materials addressing:
B) Sorting out the consequences of issues.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.1 Skills for Analyzing and Investigating Environmental Issues:C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action
Other materials addressing:
C) Identifying and evaluation alternative solutions and courses of action.
3. Skills for Understanding and Addressing Environmental Issues:3.2 Decision-Making and Citizenship Skills:C) Planning and taking action
Other materials addressing:
C) Planning and taking action.

Notes From Our Reviewers The CLEAN collection is hand-picked and rigorously reviewed for scientific accuracy and classroom effectiveness. Read what our review team had to say about this resource below or learn more about how CLEAN reviews teaching materials
Teaching Tips | Science | Pedagogy | Technical Details

Teaching Tips

  • Carefully analyze the worksheet to make sure it is appropriate for your students - modify as appropriate.
  • The worksheet will likely need scaffolding for younger students and higher level questions for older students.
  • Younger students may require pre-teaching to calculate the percentages of CO2 emission.
  • This activity could be used as an introduction to the Lifestyle Project http://serc.carleton.edu/introgeo/enviroprojects/lifestyle.html (also part of the CLEAN collection).

About the Science

  • Students use real data.
  • Data is well referenced.
  • Links are given to find and use additional data about the source of energy in the individual region. As this information will change over time, seek up-to-date data as needed.
  • Comments from expert scientist: All of the sources are credible and provide up to date information. Because every student might not be able to bring their energy bill, it would be useful to use the teacher's bill, or have example bills from different regions.

About the Pedagogy

  • Activity can be done individually or in small groups, possibly as a homework assignment.
  • Opportunity for students to share results.

Technical Details/Ease of Use

  • All necessary materials available, including data.

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